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The 60th Anniversary of the Vegetarian Soiciety
Manchester, England

From The Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester), November 1907:

The 60th Anniversary has come and gone. The memory of it will linger long in our hearts. It was fitting that it should be signalised by a success far exceeding anything we could have imagined. The general feeling was that the Executive should have taken a hall twice the size of the Memorial Hall. The celebrations began with the Social Gathering and Summer School Re-union, at 5, Fountain Street, on the 12th. The restaurant was considerably taxed to accommodate the 260 guests who came for tea, and also for the after meeting, which inspite of the press and crush, proved very enjoyable. It will be necessary to move to a larger building another year for the social gathering, as well as for the other meetings.

There were friends present from Edinburgh, Glasgow, and London, and from other distant parts. The presence of the foreign representatives proved an attraction to all the meetings. Miss Wysmuller, secretary of the Dutch Vegetarian Society ; Dr. and Mrs. Danjou, from the French Vegetarian Society ; and Mr. Procharoff from Moscow. On Monday, Mr. de Clerq, president of the Dutch Vegetarian Society arrived, and Mr. Fellenburg. of Zurich, from the German Vegetarian Society.

Mr. W. E. A. Axon, LL.D., took the chair at the meeting on Saturday and gave a very cordial welcome to the friends from abroad and to the Summer school friends. The programme was short, also the speeches. Miss Cripps accompanied the songs, and gave two selections ; Mrs. Cousins, of Dublin, contributed a pianoforte solo. Misses Taylor and Miss Birkett sang with much acceptance, and the humorous songs and stories of Mr. E. C. Clark were greatly enjoyed. Miss MacGeorge gave an excellent rendering of the "Ballad of Splendid Silence" ; and Mr. James Vickers a reading. The speakers were Professor Mayor, Mr. William Harrison, Mr. E. C. Clark, Mr. George Allen, Dr. Danjou whose address was translated by Miss Hompes. Both friends spoke of the pleasure they had in joining our anniversary celebrations. An appreciative reference was made by Mr. Ernest Bell to Mr. Broadbent's work for the Summer School. On Sunday 13th, the visitors assembled in good force at the Bible Christian Church, Salford, to hear Rev. Professor Mayor in the morning, and Dr. Stenson Hooker in the evening.

The actual anniversary was on the Monday, and the conferences were presided over by Professor Mayor, whom all of us were glad to see once more looking so genial, happy and well. The morning conference began in one of the smaller rooms of the Memorial Hall, but it became so packed that in an hour it was necessary to adjourn to the large hall. The papers were read by Mrs. Cousin, of Dublin, Mr. Ellsworth Olsen, M.A., and Mr. B. G. Theobald, B.A. Mr. Olsen read the first paper, and his heartiness and enthusiasm quickly put the audience in a very receptive humour. Mrs. Cousins followed with her paper, which was frequently punctuated by applause. The paper read by Mr. Theobald was also greatly enjoyed, and a hope was expressed that all the papers would appear in the Messenger. Mrs. Cousins' will be found in this number, and others will be printed in our December issue. A discussion followed the reading of the papers, which was joined in by Rev. Francis Wood, Dr. Macgregor Reid, and others.

A larger attendance than ever was present at the afternoon conference, which was opened at 2-30 by Professor Mayor. Mr. W. E. A. Axon, LL.D., read and moved the adoption of the annual report, and the Secretary of the Vegetarian Society read the balance sheet. Their adoption was seconded by Mr. Thos. Owen, of Oswestry, who spoke appreciatively of the good work recorded in them. He bore testimony to the benefits he had enjoyed from adopting the vegetarian diet. The election of officers for the ensuing year was moved by Mr. Sharp, of Rochdale, and seconded by Mr. J. H. Cook, of Birmingham. After the business part of the meeting was completed, Professor Mayor briefly addresses the meeting. He then called upon Mr. E. C. Clark, who bore a life-long testimony to vegetarianism, often practised, he said, amod difficulty, as he had spent about 25 years of his life as a traveller. Mr. H. S. Bathgate spoke of the pleasure he had in being present, and brought to the meeting the good wishes and greetings from the Scottish Vegetarian Society. Mr. de Clerq, president of the Dutch Vegetarian Society, who met with a hearty reception, said how glad he was to be there. In a happy genial manner he spoke of the advance that the vegetarian movement was making in Holland. They were not a very old society, but they had 700 members, and their work was growing. Mr. Ernest Bell, M.A., next addressed the meeting.

Mr. Fellenburg, of Zurich, who represented German vegetarianism, brought the greetings from our German co-workers. He told of the success that was being met with in Germany and Switzerland, and showed how the natural diet was being helped by the successful nature-cure establishments which were to be found in many parts of Europe, and most of them were conducted on vegetarian lines. Mr. Fellenberg spoke of his own success at his place on Lake Zurich, where from a very humble beginning he now had accommodation for 120 guests, with separate bedroom accommodation, and the establishment was run on vegetarian lines entirely.

Mr. Procharoff, from Moscow, next spoke in German ; from his hearty and genial manner it was quite apparent that he had enjoyed his visit to the anniversary. Mis Hompes will give a resumé of his remarks in the December Messenger. The translation of Dr. Danjou's address appears on page 292.

Telegrams of good wishes were sent during the Conference to octogenarian members of the Society, to Mr. Samuel Saunders, Market Lavington, 94 ; Mr. John Albright, Lancaster, 92 ; and to Mr. Thomas Wyles, Buxton, 90.

The following resolution was unanimously passed, that "The Vegetarian Society assembled for the celebrations of its Diamond Jubilee, sends fraternal greetings to the friends of the reformed diet in France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Russia, and other countries, and asks the foreign representatives present to convey these greetings on their return home."

Letters, telegrams, and greetings were received from Lady Fitzgerald, Lady Isobel Margesson, Rev. J. C. Street, Dr. Black, Mr. W. S. Godfrey, Mr. C. W. Forward, Mr. Arnold F. Hills, Mr. Emil Weilshauser, Germany ; Dr. Selss, the German Vegetarian Society ; the Cheltenham Food Reform Association ; Mr. O. J. Selboe, the Norwegian Vegetarian Society ; Mr. M. Larsen, the Danish Vegetarian Society ; Miss Nicholson, the London Vegetarian Association ; and the following greeting from the Swedish Vegetarian Society :-

"Your youngest daughter sends her respectful greeting on your anniversary. After only four years of existence we have more than 1,000 members, 12 of whom are physicians, a monthly magazine, a pretty library, propagandist literature, and two ambulatory kitchens.

We are full of enthusiasm for the vegetarian ideals of hygeine, national economy, and ethics, and we express the hope that you may celebrate the occasion of your magnificent jubilee by realizing the idea of an International Vegetarian Association. Strengthened by such an institution the Vegetarianism all over the world should develop to an unlimited degree. On behalf of the Swedish Vegetarian Society,

J. L. Saxon, President
L. Homberg, Secretary.

The Hon. and Rev. Canon Lyttleton sent the following telegraphic greeting :- "All good wishes ; every year convinces me more of the truth of your principle. Let the movement go on zealously."

The banquet was very tastefully served at the Vegetarian Restaurant, Fountain Street. Mr. Chapman was greatly hindered through the sudden illness of one of his cooks on the day of the banquet, caused the service to be slower and less prompt than usual. Otherwise the banquet was in every way enjoyable.

The Secretary of the Vegetarian Society had promised the banqueters a reserved seat at the Public Meeting, but the pressure was so great that many of their places were taken.

Mr. Blatchford made an excellent chairman, and his clear testimony was enthusiastically received by a large audience, many of whom were attracted by his presence.

Mr. Pitman's full report will appear in the next number of the Messenger.

[a report from the Manchester City News was reprinted]

Further reports and extracts that were printed:

  • International Vegetarian Federation - report on the talk by Dr. Danjou.
  • Woman's Place in the Vegetarian Movement - by Mrs. Cousins, Mus. Bac. Dublin.
  • Dr. Danjou on Evil in Flesh - part 2 of his talk
  • Speeches at the Public Meeting - verbatim texts of the proceedings.
  • The Fear of the Lord - a sermon preached at the Bible Christian Church, Salford, Oct. 13th, 1907, by Rev. Professor John E. B. Mayor, M.A., D.D.
  • Vegetarianism from an Occult Standpoint - by Bertram G. Theobald. B.A.